An 8th level War Cleric takes Magic Initiate to access the Druid cantrip Primal Savagery (XGE p164). The War Domain feature Divine Strike (PHB p63) grants the ability to to add 1d8 of damage to a weapon attack.

Can the Cleric use Divine Strike to add 1d8 of damage to the attack from Primal Savagery?

I contend the spell creates the claws (or bite), and that they count as a weapon for an attack. So, the Cleric should be able to use Divine Strike to add 1d8 acid damage. I think Jeremy Crawford's clarification (still somewhat open for debate) on Twitter seems to support this.

However, the DM ruled that it was a spell attack, using spell modifiers to hit, and therefore was not a weapon attack and not eligible for Divine Strike add-on.

Does the fact that the claws are formed from magic preclude their status as weapons, and are then not eligible for Divine Strike add-on?


Divine Strike will not work with primal savagery

Divine Strike says:

... when you hit a creature with a weapon attack you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 ...

So, to be able to apply Divine Strike, you must be making a weapon attack.

However, when you use primal savagery the spell tells you that, as part of the effect, you must:

Make a melee spell attack against one creature within 5 feet of you.

With this spell you are not magically creating weapons that you can attack with as you want. You are actually making the attack as part of the spell's effects and the spell's effects tell you that the attack is considered to be a melee spell attack.

Melee spell attacks and melee weapons attacks are distinct and separate attack categories and they are not interchangeable.

As Jeremy Crawford has said:

[E]very attack is either a weapon attack or a spell attack...This distinction is built into the core [design of the game].

Thus, Divine Strike will not work to grant additional damage with primal savagery.


No, it's not a weapon attack.

Per the description of the Primal Savagery spell:

Make a melee spell attack against one creature within 5 feet of you.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe include this Sage Advice from the lead designer for additional clarification. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 2 '18 at 0:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh wait... I commented on that one. Hm.... \$\endgroup\$ Apr 2 '18 at 0:56

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